Any F1 fans out there? Now on the #Slush17 stage – Mika Hakkinen! pic.twitter.com/GguW77LR1i

— Ivo Spigel (@ivospigel) December 1, 2017

Mika Hakkinen @ivospigel image

One of the great things about being on the ITN team is getting some fab trips to amazing places and meeting people.  My highlight for this year has definitely been meeting Mika Hakkinen.  Like many people of my generation I watched him and Michael Schumacher hurtling around the F1 laps in various parts of world; some how surviving 300km per hour round corners every weekend.

Well now I was about to meet the same man, with the same determination about an app that he has developed and put in place to monetize Influencer Marketing on social media.  I met Mika at his very first Slush and one of many stops on his promotional tour for his app iNZDR.

The app is very, very new, tell us about it?

It’s only been out about 3 weeks at this stage.  It has taken two and half years to reach this point, with testing and seeking approvals.  Having involved lots of coders and innovators.  Social media itself isn’t a new thing but its an area that  hasn’t developed fully yet.  This app makes it possible for you to connect with Influencers and them to make money from it whilst making a personal relationship directly with the end user.  So we are targeting actors, actresses and singers as well of course as sports personalities who want to build a much better and closer relationship with their fans.

Social media is a form of marketing and each stream of Marketing has to have a Return on Investment, how does this app manage this?

For the Influencer it will be building up their brand and more loyalty and for the end user it is getting to hear their chosen Influencers news first and being able to actually connect and talk with them when the opportunities arise.

How would this app help Social Media Influencers like we have in Ireland?

This app helps them connect directly to their audience.  It’s something you can personalise as well.  You (the Influencer) get to only have the people that really want to hear your back story by putting in a small fee of $1.99 per Influencer, per month.  This platform is also completely free of advertising which will appeal to lot of people.  It’s also now available in 5 languanges and we shall be adding more all the time.  It’s no different than buying a book or maybe a CD but instead of having fixed content that never changes you are getting the new, fresh inside story each month.  This creates the ROI for your audience.

What does that app look like?

It looks very similar to Instagram and has a lot of commonalities to it.  Once you download it on your phone on iOS and Android you can follow lots of people for free but once you have opted to go through the pay frame on the people you want to get the inside story you then pay $1.99 each month.

Was this your concept?

Yes, it was just me and three guys talking around a table and one of them asked me why I wasn’t on social media.  I didn’t see the point of having social media accounts at the time.  I was on McLaren platforms all the time and promoting their products.  They felt I should be promoting myself and my story.

So this is where the “Hakkinen Brand” this year has come from?

Yes I have seen the value of my own brand now.  I have become an Ambassador for many things this year I believe in namely Diageo (Don’t Drink and Drive), Unibet (Responsible Gaming), Bank UBS, Nokian Tyres, Hintsa Performance and of course McLaren.

What are your plans for 2018?

We are developing all the time on iNZDR and we are looking to create better streams and spread the word of this platform to other Influencers.  This world is full of possibilities and we need to keep our mind open to more ways we can build and improve its functionality and the of course the user experience.

Where are you off to next from here?

I am off to Paris and the FIA and going to be put into the Hall of Fame which is rather exciting.  Then I am returning to Finland for its Independence Day on the 6th of December and then onto Austria, England and Monaco.  Altogether 10 days of travelling but will be home in plenty of time for Christmas!

 

 

 

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